My first software product that I coded myself seems to be working and I need a handful of beta testers to work with. I want to see if there are unexpected bugs still hiding in the product, and what happens if people start installing things on a machine other than my own (full of developer privileges when it comes to accessing hard disks, etc.)

What is this product? A plug in for PowerPoint that converts SlideMagic presentations to 100% perfect PowerPoint. Extra bonus: automatic translation to and from a dark background, and flipping between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio in a second without distortions. Users get sent a “.MAGIC” file that the tool can interpret.

It runs on Windows only, since I had to dive pretty deep into the Microsoft .NET libraries to get all this to work. (At the moment, I deal with Mac-originated conversion requests partly manually, you get the same quality conversion sent to you with a time zone delay, but this will not be sustainable if request volume goes up).

This product is not the final stage of SlideMagic, more a first step for me to test whether I can ship useful software. I am catching up with technology since my 1992 graduation from engineering school, now I have moved on from PowerPoint plugins to writing Windows desktop applications from scratch for a next product release. Desktop apps are a bit “1995”, but for B2B design work, “cloud” might not always be the best solution. In any way, I have to pass this station before being able to move on to web and possibly mobile app technologies. It is fascinating to see that you can basically do anything in software if you are not intimidated by technology and have the courage to leave the traditional boxes/application models and user interface approaches.

If you area a Windows user and are interested in helping out, send me an email to jan at slidemagic dot com.

Photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash

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